Police have launched a massive manhunt to nab a notorious convict who escaped from the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday,leaving behind a dummy to make the jail guards believe that he was still asleep in his cell.
Ripper Jayanandan,who was accused of murdering seven women but convicted only in two of the cases,escaped with his cellmate Ooppa Prakash,who was undergoing imprisonment in theft cases,sources in the police said.
The police said they slipped out of the cell after breaking its lock with an iron cutter. The two then used a rope made up of abandoned bamboo pieces and clothes to climb the compound wall and escape.
According to the police,a jailor who did the rounds in front of Jayanandans cell early Monday morning,mistook the dummy made of bed sheets and pillows for the convict,giving the criminals enough time to escape.
The jail department has suspended eight staff members in connection with the escape,the police said.
For the 45-year-old Jayanandan,this was the second escape from prison. In 2010,he had managed to get out of the Central Prison in Kannur after shedding fat by going on a fast for several days. A lean Jayanandan sneaked out through the iron bars in his cell,before jumping over the jail wall.
In that escape too,he had left behind a dummy in the cell. Later,he was caught from Tamil Nadu,where he was staying with his wife.
Prior to that escape,in 2007,he had tried to escape of the Central Prison in Thrissur by making a tunnel. But it did not materialise.
Jayanandan had a pattern in murdering his victims. He used sharp weapons to injure the women and rob them off their gold ornaments. In one of the cases,he was sentenced to 20 years in jail.